Blazing a trail, the ruling AIADMK scored an emphatic victory in the Lok Sabha election in Tamil Nadu, winning 37 of the 39 seats on its own. The sterling performance has put the party, led by Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, on course to becoming the third largest in the Lok Sabha.
While the AIADMK’s handsome wins were spread across all regions in a predominantly five-cornered contest in the State, the major opposition party Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and its allies have drawn a blank. The resounding numbers showed that the ruling party did not suffer any anti-incumbency reverses, unlike the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance at the Centre.
The DMK’s calculations to garner the votes of minorities and Dalits by roping in two Muslim outfits and the two main Dalit parties in the State to offset the break-up of the partnership with the Congress went awry. The votes polled by the Congress in this election were not adequate to make any difference even if it had been part of a DMK-led alliance.
The only solace for the BJP was the victory of its State president, Pon. Radhakrishnan, in the Kanyakumari constituency in the south, where votes were polarised on religious lines. The BJP’s “lotus” symbol was in the race in nine constituencies, with three of its smaller allies also allotted the symbol.In north Tamil Nadu, the attempted mobilisation of the Vanniyars seems to have benefited only the former Union Minister and PMK candidate, Anbumani Ramadoss, who won from Dharmapuri. Further, neither the MDMK, headed by Vaiko, nor the DMDK could win a single seat despite the mega-alliance knitted by the BJP. Mr. Vaiko lost in Virudhunagar, while L.K. Sudhish, Mr. Vijayakanth’s brother-in-law, came third in the Salem constituency.
The AIADMK, despite its brilliant performance, is unlikely to play a crucial role as the BJP has won a majority on its own. In a statement here, Ms. Jayalalithaa said her appeal to the people of Tamil Nadu to strengthen her hands was not out of any selfish motives but to get justice for the people of the State. She termed her party’s massive victory “historic, and unparalleled.” (The Hindu)